That Super-Successful VP of Sales. Great? Or Just Lucky?


This post is by Jason Lemkin from SaaStr


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




I get sent this resume to review all the time. Director+ of Sales at Slack / Zoom / DropBox / Pick Your Brand Name SaaS Company. Took Hot Start-Up from $0 to $30m as VPS from Day 0. Was there “early” through IPO and did amazing things. That all sounds impressive, for sure. But were they great? Or just lucky? The thing is, it’s actually hard to know on the surface. Because it’s not ARR growth or even an IPO alone that determines if a VP of Sales him or herself is great. Because so many people were involved in getting Salesforce to $20,000,000,000 in ARR. It’s really how well they did based on a situation. Come into a #2 player and turn it into #1? That’s kind of amazing. Come into Salesforce at $2 billion and help it get to $5 billion? I mean, that’s great … but … Continue reading "That Super-Successful VP of Sales. Great? Or Just Lucky?"

How To Get Better at Recruiting. (We All Need To).


This post is by Jason Lemkin from SaaStr


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Recruiting is tough. I certainly don’t do it well enough. But to be a great CEO, you need to find a way to force yourself to be a great recruiter.

Let me share some learnings, and what I do now to force myself to be a better recruiter.  And what I wish I’d done better as a SaaS CEO:

  • Force yourself to interview 30 candidates for each VP position. Great things will happen if you do. First, you will budget a ton of time for recruiting. You’ll have to, to get through 30 interviews. Second, you’ll force yourself to spend more time tracking and managing candidates. And third, you’ll be less
    Screen Shot 2017-04-27 at 1.53.29 PM
    Continue reading "How To Get Better at Recruiting. (We All Need To)."

Don’t Accidentally Bootstrap Yourself to Death


This post is by Jason Lemkin from SaaStr


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




There’s a phenomenon, a type of SaaS company, that I think if you are scrappy, if you can make things happen as a founder — that you need to be careful not to become.   It’s the Bootstrapped-to-Death Start-up. I’ve known quite a few over the past 7 years, and each and every one is a bit of a slow-motion train wreck disguised as a modest success. The basic scenario is this:  By Hook or By Crook, after 2-3 years, they get themselves to $1m-$2m, in ARR, with no capital at all, no investors except themselves. Now if you can get there in 12-18 months, that’s great.  24 months is probably OK, but at the edge for most people.  Or if it’s a semi-mythical lifestyle business, Continue reading "Don’t Accidentally Bootstrap Yourself to Death"

How You Can Help Your Sales Team in 2021


This post is by Jason Lemkin from SaaStr


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




2020 — the Strangest of Years in SaaS and Cloud. Global pandemic, economic destruction and yet … Cloud is on fire. So it’s time now to start thinking about how to help the team for next year. Your job is to help. What are some things you can do that are actionable? A few ideas:
  • Hire dedicated sales opsMany of you will have little to no dedicated help in sales operations. Who’s making sure the reps have the right collateral? Getting routing the right leads? Are being trained properly? Are being paid properly? If that’s you, or your VP of Sales, or even your VP of Marketing … that’s a bad use of time. Hire a director+ of sales ops to take the administrative side of sales off the plate of folks that should opening and closing.
  • Invest (more) in training and onboarding. Sales teams often do the worst Continue reading "How You Can Help Your Sales Team in 2021"

The Top 10 Mistakes Made in Hiring Your First Sales Team


This post is by Jason Lemkin from SaaStr


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




I know we’ve hit a number of these points individually before on SaaStr, but after getting asked about the top mistakes hiring your first sales team so many times over the years, I thought it would be worthwhile to assemble a Top 10 List. Because it seems like so many of us just make these mistakes again, and again. And again. Make fewer of them and you’ll scale faster with less stress. Here’s my Top 10 list: #1. You hire a sales rep to sell before you can prove you can do it yourself.  You have to prove it’s sellable first. You can’t outsource this. Yes, you may be terrible at sales.  But you are the CEO.  You know the product cold.  You can do it.  Or you need to find a way to do it.  More here. #2. You hire a VP of Continue reading "The Top 10 Mistakes Made in Hiring Your First Sales Team"

The SaaStr Annual At Home Agenda is Here


This post is by Amelia Ibarra from SaaStr


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




The time has arrived. Following much anticipation, we just released the full speaker lineup and agenda for SaaStr Annual at Home, taking place very soon on Sept 2-3.  I’m super proud of the team for putting together this gathering for 50,000 community members next month so that we could bring you the best in class speakers of leading SaaS experts. Plus, we’re doing, even more, to bring you virtual networking to make sure you can meet your fellow community members.  
PS — if you already have a ticket, use this link to save your seat for sessions.

What to expect from Annual at Home:

  • If you’ve ever attended a SaaStr event (digitally or in-person), you know that the key difference between SaaStr and other events is the caliber of speakers and content. We’re giving our community access to the very best speakers, who are all committed
    Continue reading "The SaaStr Annual At Home Agenda is Here"

When Should You Sell Your Company?


This post is by Jason Lemkin from SaaStr


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Money matters.  Money is part of why we do this, maybe more in the early days than later.  It’s not just about building software and the journey.  It’s about turning your shares from $0.00001 into … something. So when should you sell your company — if ever?  Especially, if things get a little tougher, selling may seem like a valid option, if you do have options. You’ll know when the market has passed you by, when you’re no longer competitive, when you just can’t recruit the right team to win anymore. But … be careful to not let exhaustion and emotion cloud your thoughts here.  Especially if you have happy customers and are growing:

The 7 Best Pieces of Business Advice I Was Ever Given


This post is by Jason Lemkin from SaaStr


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Here’s my list of the best golden advice I was given as a first-time — and second-time — CEO:

  • Manage People — In General, and Earlier. The earlier in your career you can learn how to manage people, the faster you can excel in learning to scale. Managing people isn’t always fun. But embrace it if you want to be a CEO, a founder, and/or be a part of something bigger.
  • Listen to “Audibles” and Act on Them. Your best bosses, VPs, mentors and others will give you “audibles” — quick bits of micro-advice during pitches, customer meetings, interviews, etc. While you are in the process of working 🙂 They’ll see where you could improve in real-time. Take this real-time feedback and leverage it and act on it immediately. If someone else great is in the room with you, these audibles can make the difference between a positive outcome
    Continue reading "The 7 Best Pieces of Business Advice I Was Ever Given"

Why It’s Year 3 When You Lose Your Customers


This post is by Jason Lemkin from SaaStr


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Recently I was catching up with a good friend who used to be CEO of an enterprise-y SaaS social networking company — and the usage and engagement numbers of his business were just awful. Customers bought because they thought their organizations needed this functionality, and so they wrote the checks for Year 1, and even Year 2.  But the end-user usage just never appeared … In SaaS, it actually takes until Year 3 for your customers to churn out from low engagement / low usage. The reason is as follows:
  • Year 1 – the enterprise buys, but often doesn’t even fully deploy until month 6-9, or sometimes even longer.  So the buyer really doesn’t even have any success metrics going into the first renewal.
  • Year 2 – renewal comes up, deployment only finally got going a few months ago.  Engagement Metrics are often low but (x) it’s already in Continue reading "Why It’s Year 3 When You Lose Your Customers"

Yes, Your VP of Sales Also Has to Be a Great Salesperson Herself


This post is by Jason Lemkin from SaaStr


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




A mistake many founders make is hiring a VP of Sales who has many strengths — but not at sales per se.  A VP of Sales who is smart, polished, and worked at the right place, in a management-level position.  But actually isn’t great at sales.

I can tell you empirically the best VP of Sales I know were strong salespeople in the early career. Not always the #1 top salesperson, but very strong. In the top 20% or so, ideally higher.

How can there be seasoned VP of Sales candidates that aren’t actually great at sales?  you might ask.  How could this be possible?

The reason this is not just possible but common in larger tech companies is that “sales” in very large, very well established companies is often something quite different.  When everyone on the planet has already heard of your product and

Continue reading "Yes, Your VP of Sales Also Has to Be a Great Salesperson Herself"